Wednesday, December 07, 2016
Gateway to Sikhism

GURDWARA SAHIB BRINCHANG, CAMERON HIGHLANDS, PAHANG

No. 19 Jalan Wisma Muhibbah, 39100 Brinchang, Cameron Highlands, Pahang

In the early 1930s, there were about 500 Sikhs residing in Brinchang, the majority of whom were bachelors. Most of these Sikhs were employed by contractors as general workers to build roads, bridges and buildings. Some of the Sikhs worked as woodcutters as wood was required for cooking as well as to heat the bungalow houses. Later, Sikhs were also employed in the various vegetable farms and tea estates.

The site of the present Gurdwara Sahib, which is 38,000 square feet, originally had a store house, which was used by British personnel. Sardar Gurdit Singh of Village Sultanpur District Jullandar, a contractor, bought this property in 1933 from the British owner. He then sold the land to the Sikh sangat of Brinchang for a token sum of Straits Settlement $100.00 to enable the Sikhs to build the Gurdwara Sahib.

In 1935, Sardar Gurdit Singh and Bhai Sadhu Singh together with the Sikh sangat built a Gurdwara Sahib on this piece of land. Timber was obtained from the surrounding forest and cut up into planks. This single storey structure was built at a minimum cost as everyone chipped in to help with its construction. In 1960, this Gurdwara Sahib building was demolished as it was in a state of disrepair.

In 1957, the President, Sardar Gurdit Singh and his Management Committee, decided to construct a new single storey wooden building on the site of the previous Gurdwara Sahib. At the same time, a new Granthi's quarters, lang gar hall, kitchen and eight rooms for Sikh visitors were built at a cost of RM10,000.00.

The first Granthi of this Gurdwara Sahib was Bhai Sadhu Singh of Village Bahopur District Jullandar who served here from 1935 to 1945. The next Granthi was Bhai Gurdial Singh of Village Akawali who served from 1946 to 1954. Bhai Samund Singh took over the duties of a Granthi around 1955. Bhai Fauja Singh served as a Granthi from 1958 to 1993 in this Gurdwara.

The Management Committee comprises of the President, Secretary, Treasurer, their assistants and six committee members.

There are presently about 26 Sikh families residing in the Brinchang and Tanah Rata areas who participate in the religious activities in this Gurdwara Sahib.

It can become very cold at night in Brinchang. The rooms for Sikh visitors have thick blankets to keep them warm. Hot water is also available, as water heaters have been installed in the attached bathrooms. The Sikh visitors who stay here usually make a donation in cash or in kind which is used to upkeep the Gurdwara Sahib.

The normal weekly prayers are held on Sundays at 5.00 p.m. The Sikh Sangat from other parts of Malaysia and Singapore also occasionally hold prayers in this Gurdwara Sahib.

Courtesy:
Sikh Gurudwaras in Malaysia&Singapore
Saran Singh Sidhu AMN,PNM,FRNS

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The etymology of the term 'gurdwara' is from the words 'Gur (ਗੁਰ)' (a reference to the Sikh Gurus) and 'Dwara (ਦੁਆਰਾ)' (gateway in Gurmukhi), together meaning 'the gateway through which the Guru could be reached'. Thereafter, all Sikh places of worship came to be known as gurdwaras.
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